Major Projects and Awards (1976-2011)

Cranbrook Archives, Museum and Landmark Foundation

(including the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel)


Capital Investment February 1976 to September 2011

  • Capital Dollars spent on Restoration, Collections Assembly, Ndw Site Development & Facilities
    • 1976-1999: $ 3 million (mostly on assembling the railcar collection in Cranbrook and the restoration of some cars)
    • 1999-2010  $ 4 million (mostly on preparing the new museum site, railcar display area and the buildings)
    • TOTAL: $ 7 million cash spent locally (less value of donated railcars and other artifacts)

Events Leading up to the Establishment of the CAMAL Foundation (1972-76)


  • Garry Anderson completes degree in Architecture at UBC with city design, heritage structures and landscaping interests; thesis done on the downtown area of Cranbrook and 10th Ave.S with an intense urban design for the area specifically between 1st St.S., and Baker St along 10th.


  • Garry Anderson begins black & white pen & ink sketches of former and current Cranbrook Architectural Landmarks for sale in limited-edition sign ed sets


  • Garry Anderson does some limited water-colours of 2 Cranbrook Landmarks
  • Garry is retained by the City to do a City Heritage Report due to disappearance of some important heritage buildings; report is printed for public sale and distribution.


  • Garry Anderson does preliminary planning to set up a Cranbrook heritage preservation group due to the results of the City Heritage report

Beginning of the Cranbrook Archives, Museum & Landmark (CAMAL) Foundation


  • The CAMAL Foundation is established by local interested citizens during Heritage Week in February. Need demonstrated through  Cranbrook Heritage Report of 1975  (done by Garry Anderson under contract to the City)
  • Historical documents collecting begins for Archives  (Foundation offices located at the Studio on a rental basis)
  • Major restoration/rehabilitation project done for the Studio/Stage-Door (former Masonic Temple) funded and supervised by CAMAL (1976-77)


  • City decides to allow the old CPR-YMCA site on Van Horne St. to be used for railway museum site as requested by CAMAL instead of having it develop at Fort Steele as some wanted.
  • Dining Car “Argyle” (1929 Trans-Canada Limited) arrives from Vancouver in late May with transportation courtesy of the CPR. Car was purchased by CAMAL for $5,000 scrap metal value (restoration spans 1977-1988)
  • City Council decides to allow the old CPR-YMCA site to be used by CAMAL, so construction/restoration begins on the new 'Railway Museum' site and the dining car in May
  • CAMAL Offices move to museum site in part of dining car Argyle in November.
  • Cranbrook Heritage Awards established by CAMAL  in two categories - Residential and Commercial / Institutional - a component of the Landmark mandate
  • “Baker Hill” Heritage Residential Area Committee formed under CAMAL to increase awareness of this heritage resource - (based on the Cranbrook Heritage Report)


  • The Railway Museum in Cranbrook opens (1 July) with regular hours of operation maintained to this day
  • Baggage Car #4481 (1929 Trans-Canada Limited) arrives from Quebec City, car and transportation donated by the CPR (converted for temporary exhibition gallery use)
  • part of accessible Archives located in #4481 and part for storage in upper floor of City Hall
  • second printing of Cranbrook Heritage Report due to first edition selling out.
  • Community Service Award from Heritage Canada to Garry Anderson for his heritage work in Cranbrook, including the 1976 Cranbrook Heritage Report and the formation of the Cranbrook Archives, Museum and Landmark Foundation. This was awarded at Rideau Hall by Governor-General Jules Leger.


  • Sleeping Car Rutherglen (1929 Trans-Canada Limited set) arrives from Toronto, car and transportation  donated by CP Hotels  (restoration spans 1982-1986)
  • Exhibition Gallery in car # 4481 opens October 1979 with 7 exhibitions during the last 3 months of the year. (This Gallery operates until train goes to Expo ‘86 and hosts 80 temporary exhibitions in history and art, local and travelling, over the next 7 years)


  • Solarium Lounge Car River Rouge (1929 Trans-Canada Limited set)  arrives from the Fraser Canyon, car and transportation donated by the CPR shortly after a fire almost destroys the car but is caught in time. (restoration spans 1980-1986)
  • 16 temporary exhibitions held in gallery in car # 4481


  • Museum site enlarged to north-east to King Street (Stage 1) for increased parking and extra tracks for more cars that are being sought to complete the sets in the collections policy.
  • 11 temporary exhibitions held in gallery in car # 4481


  • Colonel Baker Home Restoration (built in 1887 for Cranbrook’s founder) Restoration spans 1982-1983 and designed for tenants on all 3 floors to support the quarter million dollar mortgage taken out by CAMAL (this is paid off by 1998). The unstable building was narrowly rescued by CAMAL when it became known that the City planned to use if  for a “fire demonstration project” by  the Fire Dept.. The building and the land immediately around were donated by the City to CAMAL, with all other expenses to be the responsibility of CAMAL.
  • 14 temporary exhibitions held in gallery in car # 4481


  • Business Car British Columbia arrives from Nelson where it had last been used, with transport courtesy of the CPR (in original condition - no restoration required, stabilization only).
  • Tenants rentals begin  in Baker Home (long-term tenants maintained until 1998)
  • 10 temporary exhibitions held in gallery in car # 4481
  • Gala Dinners start  in Dining Car Argyle as fundraiser - Christmas dinner is the first, but up to 2 other dinners each year use themes of some of the great train rides of the world.


  • Major restoration work begins on all four Trans-Canad Limited cars in preparation for the train exhibit at Expo ‘86 in Vancouver
  • 14 temporary exhibitions held in gallery in car # 4481


  • Major restoration work continues on all cars on preparation for the train exhibit at Expo ‘86 including major exterior steel restoration on Argyle, Rutherglen and River Rouge
  • 8 temporary exhibitions held in gallery in car # 4481 before car is prepared later in year for trip to Expo.
  • Award of Merit to the Museum from the BC Museum Association


  • The entire train display goes to Expo ‘86 for a six-month exhibit (April-October), with the Museum site vacant (except for the caboose and box car) and the Museum closed to visitors for the whole year 1986.
  • CAMAL offices move to the recently-vacated upper floor of Colonel Baker Home as an interim measure, with a part-time secretary/book keeper in Cranbrook and the Executive Director (Garry Anderson) in Vancouver.
  • Combination Baggage & Sleeper #4489 (1929 Trans-Canada Limited set) arrives at Expo '86 Via Rail Pavilion as a donation from DOFASCO in Hamilton, Ont. with transportation courtesy of the CPR. The original unaltered car is added to Expo display.
  • Car #52  (built 1882 - Pacific Express) arrives in Cranbrook in November from Blairmore by truck - via Calgary - and without wheels. Move is courtesy of Drain Bros. Moving of Blairmore, and is also the first Fist Class Coach ever built for the CPR. (it is stored at City Works Yard until 2003 when it is moved to the new site and the space reserved for it)
  • CAMAL assists second  Studio-Stage Door project with funds and supervision (interior restoration portion only)


  • Restoration of #4489 - 10 months project
  • The Elko Station (built in 1901) is moved 43 miles to Cranbrook (restoration spans 1987-1988) to become Museum offices, and  visitor services until Museum relocation to new site in September 2002
  • Archives moved to upper floor of Elko Station and opened to the public on a regular basis
  • separate Gallery Society formed by interested persons to operate the Temporary  Exhibition Program in car #4181, as the museum had grown to the size that it can no longer supply staff to operate an exhibition program. Staff are reallocated to the more complicated and longer tours of the increased railcar collection.


  • Raised Viewing Corridor (stage 1 - 340' ) built between the two lines of cars for all-year convenient access for staff and tourists.
  • city begins to assemble land in what is called the 'Museum Development Zone' for future museum expansion along Van Horne St (Hwy 3/95). The final land parcel is purchased in 1999, except for the original (but modernized) Cranbrook Station and the land for parking immediately around it. The CPR is still using the station for its operations, but City Council advises that it would purchase the station and lease it back to the CPR if wished.
  • City apoints its Railway Museum Development Committee as a direct liaison to the city for all Museum projects in the Zone.
  • Special Restoration Award to Museum from Cranbrook's sister city Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.


  • Car #621 (built 1901 for the set of the 1907 Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe) arrives by truck from Bragg Creek SW of Calgary , transport courtesy of Drain Bros. of Blairmore. It had formerly been a country cottage without wheels. (stored at City works yard until 2003 when moved to the new site and the space reserved for it ) Mostly in original condition.  
  • Wooden Baggage car #4144 - 1907 Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe arrives from Edmonton  and stored on CPR Tracks for future new site and restoration. Transport courtesy of the CPR in a special move.
  • Sleeper Somerset (1929 Trans-Canada Limited set) arrives from Toronto and put on Museum site (restoration spans 1991-1993). Transport courtesy of the CPR
  • Sleeper Glen Cassie (1929 Trans-Canada Limited set) arrives from Vancouver and put on museum site (restoration spans 1990-1992). Transport courtesy of the CPR
  • Parlour Car #6751 (final car for the 1929 Trans-Canada Limited 7-car set) arrives form Toronto and put on museum site (restoration spans 1989-1990). Transport courtesy of the CPR
  • Sleeper Grand Pré (for the1939 Royal Train) arrives from Ottawa (stored on CPR tracks  for future interpretation) Transport courtesy of the CPR.
  • Museum conceptual Master Plan started under the Museums Assistance Program ($60,000)
  • Gallery Society ceases operation - gallery car # 4181 converted to HO Model Railway display about the historic Crowsnest Rail Line, with volunteers assisting construction and operations.
  • Centennial Heritage Trees Program - Phase 1 begins along SW highway on Museum Development zone
  • Preservation Award for the preservation of the entire set of the 1929 Trans-Canada Limited from The Canadian Railway Historical Association


  • Executive Sleeper Strathcona (built 1927) arrives from Toronto and stored . Original condition. Cultural Property Designation. Transport courtesy of the CPR
  • Lightweight coach #1700 (built in 1936) arrives from Montreal for the 1936 Chinook set, and stored. Original Condition. Transport courtesy of the CPR
  • Sleeper Newcastle (built 1921) arrives from Winnipeg, cleaned and stored.  Mostly gutted condition for future interpretation. Transport courtesy of the CPR
  • Conceptual Master Plan for Museum completed
  • Archives indexing improvement project completed.
  • Restoration work begins on Sleeping Car Glen Cassie
  • Gordon Wilder Memorial Award for Tourism to Garry Anderson from the Rocky Mountain Visitors Association


  • Parlour Car #6751 restoration completed.
  • Restoration continued on Sleeper Glen Cassie
  • Restoration begun on Sleeper Somerset
  • Major steel restoration completed on Somerset
  • Continued development of HO-Model Railway Display in car
  • Position of Manager for Marketing & Collections Care begun
  • Business Plan completed for new museum (Canadian Museum of Rail Travel) ($30,000)
  • Preliminary Design and Budget completed for Railway Water Tower relocation
  • Centennial Heritage Trees Program - Phase 2 begins along SW highway on Museum Development zone


  • Sleepers Glen Cassie and Somerset major restoration completed
  • Bob Turner, Chief of Historical Collections at Royal B.C. Museum, completes Study on the Historical Significance of the Railcar Collection at the Museum.
  • Sleeper-Observation Car Curzon (1907) - for the 1907 Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe  - is repatriated from a  lakeside cottage from State of Wisconsin in the U.S.A. to Cranbrook on flatcar by rail, then prepared & lowered onto frame with exterior painted. Cultural Property Designation. A Quarter million dollar project to get the car to Cranbrook.
  • Work Car X1413 'archaeologically demolished' to provide original wheels and underframe for Curzon.(also from Wisconsin by flatcar)
  • Sleeping Car Redvers (1929) arrives from Edmonton for interpretive purposes (modernized sister to the restored Rutherglen) Transport courtesy of the CPR.
  • Baggage Car #736 (1877) - for the 1886 Pacific Express - arrives from Edmonton. Transport courtesy of the CPR in a special move.
  • Two ALCO diesel locomotives #4090 and #4469 arrive from Quebec City and stored for future placement at new site. They narrowly escape accidently being sent to scrap at Selkirk, Man,. while on route when someone notices them on the wrong track at Winnipeg.
  • Preliminary study done on potential move from the Canadian Museum in Montreal to Cranbrook of steam locomotives #2341 and #2928 for the 1929 Trans-Canada Limited and the 1936 Chinook sets. Decision made not to be involved with the move of the locomotive to Revelstoke due to costs and unknown condition of the locomotives for a safe move.
  • 2 more tracks built at old site, replacing the former parking lot,and 3 cars (Strathcona, Redvers and Curzon) placed inside fenced area with 80' extension built to main viewing corridor.
  • Replacement Museum parking lot developed across King St.
  • Award of Recognition from the British Columbia Heritage Trust.
  • Preservation Award for the repatriation and rehabilitation of the 1907 car Curzon, from the Canadian Railway Historical Association
  • Major “conservation” project on wood panels completed inside car British Columbia.


  • Railway Water Tower technical movement plan done and relocation funding secured
  • Museum name changed to Canadian Museum of Rail Travel - Cranbrook, BC to reflect the increasing national status of the collection.
  • Viewing Corridor 180' extensions completed for Curzon, Strathcona and Redvers, all three of which form a new additional tour
  • Railway Gardens and platforms at former site extended and parking improved.
  • Stabilization and preliminary interiors work done to  Strathcona and Curzon for exhibit
  • Mail Express car #3612 arrives from Vancouver  for the 1936 Chinook set and stored. Mostly gutted interior condition, but deemed excellent to complete the Chinook exterior. Transport courtesy of the CPR.
  • Office and Archives Computerization begins
  • Two large city/museum billboards put up on highway near Fort Steele interchange.
  • Position on Board established for First Nations Representation (Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Tribal Council)
  • Heritage Canada's 1993 Gold Medal - Achievement Award to Museum for the restoration of the entire set of the 1929  Trans-Canada Limited train set - a national railway symbol.


  • Railway Water Tower relocated and restored . as a major Cranbrook landmark on axis with the main downtown street - Baker St and along on the side axis of 7th Ave.S, as well as high profile along the highway . Dedicated Aug. 23 - the 96th anniversary of the arrival of the railway to Cranbrook
  • Railway gardens extended in front of the Curzon and Strathcona (“garden tracks”) and around the water tower
  • Automatic irrigation system also extended in site
  • Job Training (temporary) program in operations and restoration
  • Historic, but derelict, 1898 Railway Freight Shed purchased by City  for museum facility development at new site
  • Main viewing corridor extended to the include caboose and expanded model railway display
  • Cranbrook Citizen of the Year to Garry Anderson, Executive Director of the Museum


  • New Railcar Storage Yard begun and fenced at SW end of site beside the former Scott National Bldg.
  • Freight Shed restoration - stage 1 - exterior completed
  • car #2104 arrives from Winnipeg , for the 1936 Chinook set.  Cultural Property Designation. Transport courtesy of the CPR
  • Car Naughton arrives from North Bay.- stored for future interpretation (to Prestige Hotel in 2005). Gutted condition. Transport courtesy of the CPR
  • Two General Motors Diesel (A&B) Units arrive from Toronto to head a potential future Canadian set. Cultural Property Designation. Transport courtesy of the CPR
  • 32 foot long HO-Scale model of the new site and building completed for display.
  • BC Heritage Conference held in Cranbrook in June
  • CAMAL management restructuring to reflect the growing operation
  • stage 1 interior restoration begun on the car Strathcona
  • Paved Walking-Cycling Pathways - stage 1 completed on central part of  Museum Development Zone in front of Freight Shed (This is the first part ever done of the entire City pathway system)
  • automatic ''voice boxes' placed in all the cars for tour guide assistance
  • Railway Excursion Study Committee formed
  • Replacement project for Centennial Heritage Trees Program along Museum Development Zone from King St to SW due to poor selection of tree type  by Ministry of Highways staff in the late 1980's.
  • Volunteer assistance developed for tours using the new voice boxes


  • completed expansion of the  fenced railcar storage yard and moved 14 additional artifacts  (locomotives and cars) inside
  • Centennial Heritage trees project  - stage 3 completed - south Van Horne boulevard plantings) beside the highway and along Jim Creek in the museum zone.
  • initiated special marketing partnerships between museum and  local accommodation businesses
  • Freight Shed- stage II restoration completed (interior framing and re-roofing)
  • worked with the Railway Excursions Study Committee to store some modern ex-Via Rail excursion cars for them in  storage yard
  • one modern ex-Via Rail Lounge Car # 758 purchased by Museum and stored in yard for future interpretation
  • expanded the railway gardens and trees landscaping around the Water Tower.
  • planning begins  for the 1998 Crowsnest Railway Centennial  - city establishes a formal centennial committee
  • Re-roofing  of the Freight Shed and the Water Tower completed
  • Exterior work on  some cars, and wooden window sash repairs and painting,
  • Continued work with the City & community groups on the Highway Rest Area (Future Van Horne Park)
  • extension to walking/cycling pathways on the Museum Development Zone part way through the park


  • The "Baker Hill Committee"  re-established after several years to promote preservation of older buildings, gardens, and major landscape feature, etc.
  • Car Strathcona - final ventilation and 32-volt electrical system hook-up for original interior lighting.
  • Planning continues for multiple galleries designs with the Cranbrook & District Arts Council  for the upper Freight Shed
  • Re-roofing of the Elko Station completed.
  • Expand the railway gardens and pathways to the south-west of the present museum site,
  • Continue the development of  the corps of museum volunteers
  • Plans and budget done to relocate the 160-foot long Freight Shed about 350' to its final location to allow new site development
  • construct a temporarily rail connection to the new storage yard from the CPR active tracks
  • grade and lay ties, and rails, for preliminary layout of some of the museum's permanent tracks in the new museum location   
  • complete the moving simulation concept for the interpretive car  Redvers.
  • begin preparations for the 1998 Railway Centennial  with the City.
  • prepare for the 1998 BC Museums Association conference to be held in Cranbrook
  • continue to work with the railway excursions committee
  • Prestige Hotel construction begins at SW end of Museum Development Zone. This hotel site was chosen by the Huber family due to the visionary plans of the Museum that were shown to them just prior to work beginning on the new Museum site and buildings. They also designed the hotel to be used by potential future excursion trains by developing the back access to the tracks.
  • Tourism Excellence Award from the Chamber of Commerce


  • Crowsnest Railway Route Centennial - legacies & events:
    • January
      • three JCP staff hired for the year by the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel for centennial historical and heritage projects and events under a Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) which provided the following positions: one for developing a Touring Exhibit about the Railway, one for local historical research, one dedicated to work at City Hall for coordinating the community events
    • February
      • All Aboard dinner, historical speaker, entertainment to officially begin the centennial hosted by the centennial committee
      • Crowsnest Historical Centennial website done by the Museum and previewed at the end of Heritage Week
      • one JCP person hired for the year for special centennial archival work by the museum
    • March
      -special weekly series of railway historical articles in newspaper begun by Museum (first of 46 planned local articles to end of year
      ** Palace Sleeping car Omemee(1906) - 1907 “Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe” arrives in Cranbrook, repatriated as a lakeside cottage  from Wisconsin in  the USA and a Museum restoration project begins for car to be dedicated on the special Centennial August weekend. Cultural Property Designation
      - extra large mature trees moved by a large tree spade from old city works yard to Railway Water Tower Gardens for continued restoration by Museum
      - Crowsnest Railway Route Touring Exhibit, prepared by the Museum, begins a  9-month touring schedule in Fort McLeod, first of 14 communities along the historic rail line.
      - Touring Exhibit goes to Pincher Creek
      - History  Placemats with a map of the historic rail route were created by the Arts Council using a local graphic artist They contained historical facts supplied by the museum
      - Special history items supplied by Museum for radio broadcasts in July & August
      - Touring Exhibit goes to Crowsnest Pass (Coleman)
      - Touring Exhibit goes to Sparwood
      -Touring Exhibit goes to Fernie
      - Special RAILWAY CENTENNIAL AUG. 23d & WEEKEND in Cranbrook
      - Touring Exhibit of the Museum opens in Cranbrook with specialized panels about Cranbrook history
      - Historic Railcar “Omemee”exterior restoration completed and dedicated at Museum
      - “First Spike” ceremonies for new Museum permanent tracks by the daughter of Hugh Brock, the Engineer on the first train into Cranbrook on that date,
      - 100 year-old railway “Freight Shed” dedicated for new Museum site.  
      - Centennial Historic Website of the Museum presented in more complete format at exhibition
      - special centennial signs dedicated at Railway Water Tower Gardens
      - the Canadian Pacific Railway display cars are shown during this weekend beside the Museum
      - special centennial dinner held on board dining car at Museum
      - 100 year-old restored Anglican Church has open house
      - Horse-drawn wagon Heritage Tours of Cranbrook - operated daily by heritage businesses in the Baker Hill area and assisted by the Museum.
      - Touring Exhibit goes to Kaslo
      - work begins on Rest Area/Park in Museum Development Zone (yet un-named) for legacy sign, coordinated by Museum
      - BC Museums Annual Provincial Conference is held in Cranbrook as part of Centennial year celebrations.
      - Touring Exhibit goes to Creston
      *  Crowsnest Highway 3 Historic Highway Sign dedication Oct.6th commemorating the actual completion date of the Crowsnest rail line, held in new rest area/park & coordinated by the Museum.
      - Historic Railway Theme mural dedicated at 9th and Baker downtown - assisted by  Museum,  the City of Cranbrook, and coordinated by the Arts Council
      - Touring Exhibit goes to Castlegar
      - Touring Exhibit goes to Nelson
      - Special Centennial Christmas Gala Dinner at Museum
      - 14-month centennial restoration project ends at Museum
      - Touring Exhibit goes to Lethbridge (then scheduled for Frank Slide Interpretive Centre in February/99 and returning to Cranbrook for permanent display in March/99
      -12-month centennial research project ends (one continues to end Mar/99) - all special historical files organized into binders and on electronic database for continued  public access.
      - City Council proclaimed as a centennial  legacy project, the new rest area/park on the museum development zone  as “Van Horne Park”. This commemorates the visit to Cranbrook and Crowsnest Rail Line in 1898 of Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway.


  • work formally begins on new site with the announcement of a GO-BC grant of  $150,000.
  • construct a new 160' long steel & concrete foundation and move the Freight Shed about 350 feet onto it
  • construct 800-foot museum lead-in track behind the Prestige Resort on city/museum land to new museum site.
  • do stabilization of the basement  pony walls and begin some interior finishing of the Freight Shed (main & lower)
  • do inventory of all 50,000 items at temporary warehouse, sort, classify and store for future projects
  • do complete inventory of all movable items in museum cars, Elko Station, and Freight Shed (non-archival)
  • move the former Unitel building off the old museum site  to visually open up the Water Tower to Baker St view and prepare for gardens extension. This building is moved immediately across the highway to become a new storage place for the Bedroom.
  • New $10 million Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort and Convention Centre opens at south end of  Museum Development Zone with a local and regional railway history theme
  • Baker Home sold to purchase the contents of the former Royal Alexandra Hotel Cafe (oak panels & doors, lights and moulding), transport to Cranbrook, inventory and store in lower Freight Shed. The CAMAL Foundation still holds  heritage protection covenants on Baker Home in the land title
  • begin foundations for the Royal Alexandra Hall as a Community Millennium Legacy Project
  • Tourism Excellence Award from the Chamber of Commerce


  • new (central website) for museum established, includes the Crowsnest history web and other pertinent connections - for ease in marketing and communications
  • major Canada 2000 millennium, Vancouver Foundation, BC Direct Access to Gaming and Canadian Pacific Foundation funds applied for and received for Royal Alexandra Hall project.
  • new building shell for the Royal Alexandra Hall completed and original oak panel contents of the room installed, lights made operational, and re-casting done of some damaged decorative cornices, capitals, dentils and heraldic crests.
  • original carved oak fireplace from the Royal Alexandra’s formal dining room obtained and restoration begins in the vacant level of the Freight Shed where the Hall panels and fireplace are stored
  • foundations constructed for Entrance Hall for connections to Freight Shed, service area, Reception Hall and Palm Court
  • Entrance Hall construction begun
  • stage 2 of Van Horne Park completed around diverted Jim Creek. (Excluding the parking lot adjacent to Prestige)
  • the Museum’s 2nd train set , the 1936 Chinook is completed with the arrival of the 4th and last car - combination car 3051 from the National Museum of Science & Technology in Ottawa.
  • website continually up-dated for construction/restoration projects


  • Entrance Hall shell completed, handicapped elevator/lift and heating/cooling plants installed
  • fireplace display restored and installed in main entrance hall as focal point first impression on arrival at the  Museum
  • varnishing and staining of all upper ceiling arches and trim in Royal Alexandra Hall completed
  • Royal Alexandra Hall Dedication ceremonies held 21 June, a condition of the Federal Canada 2000 Millennium project contract. Regular tours of room begin from the old Museum site 2 blocks away, since the staff facilities are not yet complete and the railcar collection has not yet been moved to the new site.
  • Palm Court shell framed by College of the Rockies construction program
  • permanent display track construction begins  - grade surveys,  preliminary trenches and grading
  • old Scott National building demolished as a training session by the Cranbrook Fire Dept. This was a temporary museum warehouse, and the demolition  makes way for the permanent display tracks.
  • stored cars pulled back from the temporary display tracks and onto museum lead-in track behind the Prestige Hotel  to allow work on the permanent display tracks
  • re-align lead-in track with storage yard and reconfigure stored cars  
  • grade surveys and prelim grading done on new site from Freight Shed to property line by the Prestige Hotel
  • ties and rail for tracks # 1 and # 2 laid and levelled (track #3 to wait to spring/2002)
  • City provides new water main service to main building and installs 2 fire hydrants to site
  • BC Heritage Award to Garry Anderson - Executive Director. This comes with a $10,000 award to Garry for a Charity of his choice - made to the Museum to complete the final 1/3 the cost of the oak floor in the Royal Alexandra Hall.
  • traditional oak floor completed in Royal Alexandra Hall in late December with Tembec donation of $20,000, or  2/3 costs.
  • initial launch of local capital fund-raising campaign to complete the brick exterior.


  • complete new site trains display area with underground electrical services, security fence and systems, and level stable tracks (3 @ 800'+/Avg.) = 2400 feet of tracks for display
  • dismantle 550 feet of  viewing corridors at old site for use at new site, and prepare the 14 cars at the old site for a safe and secure move to new site. This includes removal of the electrical and plumbing/drainage systems, roofing repairs to all cars, new roofing on some, new temporary security covers for some doors and windows, and re-painting and gold lettering of all of the sides of the 7 cars of the Trans-Canada Limited that will face the street.
  • Major site relocation  - all 14 cars from old site combine with 14 off-site stored cars to new fenced site (11-13 September) done by the CP Railway, and doubling the railcar collection to 28
  • staff remain at the old site until 2003  and conduct tours to the new site.
  • connect 14 cars to new electrical and security systems
  • prepare (including new electrical connections) of 9 cars for touring immediately after relocation. All  7 Trans-Canada and 2 of the  Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe are made available within 2 days of move so as not to interrupt tours too long
  • continue work in the Main Entrance Hall and Palm Court
  • Tourism Excellence Award from the Chamber of Commerce
  • Gary Anderson awarded a Queen’s Jubilee medal


  • construct frame and interior decorative elements of new Reception Hall alongside Royal Alexandra Hall
  • complete public washrooms in lower Freight Shed, and the staff /ticket/office areas on main and mezzanine
  • complete decorative railings for balconies on second level in Entrance  Hall
  • complete temporary highway access signs, parking lots grading & some preliminary landscaping.
  • The Royal Canadian Pacific sponsors special decorative glass doors in Main Hall and begins excursion train service direct to new museum
  • Relocation of Museum staff to partially-complete facility on July 16 to continue tours and full operations at the new site. The Archives remains in the Elko Station to be moved later.
  • the heritage 1864 concert grand piano is donated by Concert Pianist, Helmut Brauss, and arrives from Victoria in September
  • re-coconstruct the lower bracing and walkway of new viewing corridors between tracks # 1 and #2  (600 feet long)
  • complete preliminary plans for back 2-storey addition for museum shop, offices and archives, and both levels of the  Freight Shed, based on preliminary plans from the 1990 Concept Plan.
  • Relocation of the Cranbrook Historical Archives. This includrs storage from City Hall and  Elko Station upper floor and consolidation to the Mezzanine at new site 1-2 October, with 2/3 left in temporary storage in upper level of Freight Shed.
  • complete exterior facade brick and doors/windows in late November
  • complete interior decorative architectural framing of Palm Court and drywall/painting (December)
  • complete interior decorative architectural framing of Reception Hall (December)


  • complete drywall and interior painting of  Entrance Hall, Palm Court and Reception Hall, and install 33 large decorative and chandeliers and wall sconces.
  • framing of the catering holding kitchen area divider wall and doors to Royal Alexandra Hall
  • 'Soft Opening' of Royal Alexandra Hall for full public use (3 April). Occupancy permit received. 
  • 'Grand Opening' of  new museum site and facilities - (2-3 September) with 700 guests for dinners and concerts over the 2-day period, officiated by the Lieutenant-Governor of BC and attended by the CPR’s Steam Train #2816 from Calgary.
  • complete the raised viewing corridor floor between tracks # 1 and 2
  • preliminary preparation for stabilization of most cars on track #2
  • historic costume interpretive program done under a Job Creation Program to create with 30 evening and afternoon gowns from 1912 era for volunteer use.
  • prepare 52 weekly historical news articles for issue during 2005 City Centennial
  • complete ½ drywall  of lower level of the Freight Shed
  • funding secured from SICEA (Softwood Agreement) to begin back addition construction, including 2 levels of  storage rooms for the new Archives.
  • Tourism Excellence Award from the Chamber of Commerce


  • City Incorporation Centennial -  physical legacy projects and special museum events over the year
    • In late 2004, prelim research and digitally format 52 historical articles on a variety of subjects on Cranbrook history for weekly printing in the Townsman newspaper January to December 2005
    • Research, select and mount  9 large format framed collages for Phase 1 of the Cranbrook History Gallery in the lower level of the historic Freight Shed.
    • Sponsor Heritage Bus Tours on July 1 for the Centennial and Canada Day.
    • Move most of the stored archival material on the upper Freight Shed  to new permanent storage rooms on 2nd and 3d floor of new back addition adjacent to the new Archives.
    • Research old hotel menu items from Cranbrook to help design the City Centennial Gala Dinner held in the Royal Alexandra Hall on 1 November
    • Add winter lights to buildings at the old and new Museum sites as a visual connection with the downtown area
    • Reestablish the Pre-Christmas Gala Dinners for 124 people especially for the centennial year in the Royal Alexandra Hall on 25 November. This was after a 3-year interruption of the dinners due to the Museum site relocation in 2002 and the new location of the dining car Argyle now 600 feet (a city-block) from the museum office/entrance.
    • Assist the committee with the content and format for the Cranbrook Centennial Book - extensive  Archives use  by contractor
    • Design & print 10,000 copies of the Cranbrook Heritage Tour Maps for free distribution to all visitors, schools, and groups
  • complete framing of most of lower floor of the 6700 sq.ft  Back Addition including new Gift Shop & Tour Orientation Area, storage for 280 chairs and 50 tables for the Royal Alexandra Hall, coat rack area, and corridor to the excursion tracks at the back of the buildings.
  • complete roof of the 600' long raised viewing corridor and expand railcar tours by adding 3 more car on track #2 and 3 cars on track #3  to the tour schedule, bringing the total cars on tour to 15 out of 28
  • preliminary restoration concepts done for the 4-car set of the Chinook (1936) and the 2 Pacific Express (1882) cars for future tour expansion and integration into the tour program.
  • expand exterior landscaping at front and back of site, and improve two areas with new turf and underground irrigation systems at the old Museum site, funded under the  Federal-Provincial Infrastructure Funding Program.  A trellis was also added to the 160-foot long front of the Freight Shed as a major visual improvement.
  • a large 10-foot long engineering drawing of the entire 1.4 km long Museum Zone with all facilities, railcars and other contents was also done under the Infrastructure program as a major comprehensive planning and reference document.
  • move the gutted steel shell of the former sleeping car Naughton to the rear of the Prestige Hotel for off-site interpretation and remodelling into 2 luxury suites by the hotel. This car was in the secondary collection, and the sister car Newcastle assumed the future interpretive role. Elvin Townsend, Housemover, volunteered to do this project over 2 months saving the Museum a considerable sum of money. (The Prestige Hotel donation of $125,000 (over 7 years) required this donation of the gutted car)
  • Heat/Cool unit replaced in car British Columbia
  • cooling compressor added to car Strathcona
  • Tourism Excellence Award from the Chamber of Commerce


  • replace the furnace at the Elko Station for a 1-year tenant - the Cranbrook Community Foundation
  • completed some interior framing and drywall of the multiple exhibition  galleries  in upper Freight Shed, which are larger than the  Royal Alexandra Hall.
  • car # 621 added to tour schedule of the 1907 Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe making this tour 3 cars in length.
  • completed concept and preliminary structural steel designs for the large 80.000+ sq.ft  structure to enclose the entire trains display area with “green” technologies for long-term conservation, energy efficiency, and increased programs indoors (a top priority of the Museum)
  • place new digital voice boxes in all cars to assist tour guides
  • connect electrical to car Redvers to operate existing HVAC system
  • replace all air filters in 14 cars with new efficient design
  • complete final landscaping stages at the former Museum Site - called  Canadian Pacific Railway Park
  • 3 special events held during year to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Alexandra Hall (Hotel)
  • reprint 20,000 of the Cranbrook Heritage Tour Maps for self-guided public and school tours
  • expand the annual Pre-Christmas Museum Gala Dinner to 2 nights for this fund-raising event.
  • The Museum presented, in person by Garry Anderson, its’ particular  preservation challenges in Ottawa to the House of Commons Committee on a New Canadian Museums Policy. This was to highlight problems faced by the outdoor-stored railcars with extremely fragile interiors.
  • 1921 Dining car Wingfield, one of last railcars for the intended collection, arrives from the CPR after a 20-year effort to obtain it - for future interpretation with the companion sleeping car Newcastle also 1921


  • NOTE: Due to high employment levels in Canada, at this time, particularly in the West including Cranbrook, there were very few unemployed people to work on Federal Job Creation Projects 9 (JCP),. This had been a “backbone” of the museum construction and restoration projects since the museum began in 1977. A Job Creation Project was finally approved to start in early December, 2006 and continued through early 2007. The project was stopped early due to no referrals in the spring. As a result, there was virtually no work done over the period June to December 2007 - the first time in the Museum’s development history. This  caused a severe backlog of projects needing to be done, mostly involving stabilization and restoration, inventory control and storage work.
  • Revenue from a lease with the Cranbrook Community Foundation from June 2006 to March 2007 allowed the replacement of the old gas furnace and other small improvements to the Elko Station, which had been vacated in 2003, when museum staff relocated to the new site.
  • The three cars on the Interpretive Cars Tour (Redvers, Café-Lounge and the Caboose) were added to the Museum tours schedule in the summer. The final electrical connections were made using wiring stock salvaged from the old site to reduce the costs. This connection allowed the existing lighting and ventilation system in Redvers to be activated.
  • Two priority preservation projects were also done in summer. The addition of a cooling compressor to the car Strathcona ventilation system will better maintain cooler temperatures in summer, and the old furnace/fan system in the car British Columbia was replaced to allow improved environmental controls in that car as well.
  • For improved conservation in all railcars on tour, the air filters design was changed for easier maintenance and air  Museum site,
  • The miniature railway operation, overseen by contractor Masons’ Trains of Cranbrook, saw the laying of 1500' of 7.5 “ gauge rail. Track was purchased and owned by Museum, via a Job Creation Project, with on-going maintenance provided by the Contractor.
  • July 1 - celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe (the 'Cranbrook Train') in 2007
  • completed landscaped beds along front of Freight Shed and added to the automatic irrigation system.
  • completed ventilation systems for Reception Hall and Palm Court
  • Up-Date completed on the 1992 Study on the National & International Significance of the railcar collection by Robert Turner, Curator Emeritus of the Royal BC Museum.
  • the reading and reference room completed for the new Cranbrook Historical Archives
  • Dining car Wingfield (85 tons) moved on site and display adjustments made on tracks #2 and #3 during this move (most of collection is now assembled with the arrival of this car)
  • The two GM Diesel units moved to SW end of track #2 for addition to the interpretive cars/locos tour
  • The 1936 4-car set of the Chinook turned end-for-end and placed by car Strathcona for easier future connection to tours.
  • November 2007 - The Federal Job Creation Program (JCP) announced that no more construction/restoration projects could be funded due to the excellent economy in the area, and the lack of unemployed people for referrals. This reduced the Museum’s Collection Development (Capital) budget by up to 90% due to the lack of substantial labour and some material funds that had been used successfully every year since 1976 to leverage many times their value.. This part of Museum development had been increasingly affected by the economy since 2005, resulting in much longer periods of time to complete projects (ie - the gift shop and related areas took 3 years instead of the originally- expected 10 months to complete) This will be a major challenge for the Museum for the foreseeable future.
  • Heritage Canada's 2007 Gold Medal - Achievement Award - Given for the restoration of the Royal Alexandra Hall (see also 1993 for this same award for the set of the 1929 Trans Canada Limited)
  • BC Achievement Award- "to Garry Anderson, Executive Director, for outstanding commitment to heritage projects and the arts and culture in the City of Cranbrook. Under his direction, the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel has developed into one of the world's finest collections of passenger rail cars. Garry has been instrumental in the revitalization of the downtown area, the restoration of many Cranbrook heritage homes and the restoration of the Royal Alexandra Hall".
  • Order of Canada to Garry Anderson, Executive Director for the development of the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel and the Cranbrook Archives, Museum and Landmark Foundation.


  • New Historical Archives facility partially completed  under a Federal Job Creation Program and relocation of the entire collection, containing tens of thousands of items, to the new facility. Volunteers also assist with registration of items.
  • New Ticket Area, Orientation Audio–Visual Theatre, Gift Shop and the railcar restoration interpretive area was completed for public use.
  • ventilation system for Reception Hall and Palm Court completed
  • upper level (mezzanine) overlooking the reception Hall and  future rooms (Board Room, 3 offices Conference Room and mezzanine overlooking the Reception Hall were framed and carpeted
  • Carpet  installed in the Cranbrook History Gallery
  • Improved environmental controls installed in the very fragile cars Curzon, Omemee and Redvers, plus ventilation ducts and a complete heat/cool system for the first class coach # 621 with T assistance
  • Canada Day - Celebration of the Museum's 30th Anniversary of opening for regular hours and the official opening of the new orientation theatre-gift shop & restoration interpretive area by Mayor Ross Priest.
  • arrival of all original style seats for car #621- stored in car for future restoration and installation
  • O-Gauge model railway donated from former Granville Island Museum, shipped  & stored in lower Freight Shed until re-construction funds  can be raised
  • Garry Anderson attends Order of Canada formal ceremonies in Ottawa 12 December


  • HO-Gauge model railway - 38 pieces reconnected after shipment from Vancouver in fall 2009 under a BC 150 program grant
  • Grand Pré (1930 Royal Train Car # 8) sandblasted and painted on one side in Royal Train colours, and on the other in the traditional CPR colours, missing exterior side vestibule doors added, and glazing added over all window openings under a Benjamin Moore Paints heritage grant.
  • Major Job Creation Partnership (JCP)  contract from August 2009 to May/2010 worth $ 250,000 accomplished substantial work  and long-term storage in all buildings, site and railcars. This program was the first to be done in several years due to higher unemployment as a result of the economic recession.
  • Historical Archives expanded digitalization started under a Provincial Job Creation Partnership contract
  • storage mezzanine built in storage room for tables/chairs and seasonal decorations and a locked gift shop inventory room created on part of lower level
  • completed painting, trim and decorative light fixtures in the mezzanine, and all trim around all the 2-storey high windows and door openings in the Reception Hall
  • new LED stage lighting and special removable trusses were constructed and installed in the Royal Alexandra all for the Masquerade, them removed until needed again,
  • The Ted Fielder Room electrical, lighting and painting done  for costume work for Masquerade
  • Cranbrook History Gallery valence lights constructed and installed and more content researched for frames not yet filled
  • car #621- original seats installed and two openings in side walls filled
  • roofing and scraping .priming of several cars and both GM locomotive done and the  GM Diesel B-Unit interior prepared and added to the Museum tours schedule
  • Glazing added over all side vestibule doors of the 7 Trans Canada Limited cars facing the street
  • baggage # 4481 repaired for long-term storage of selected railcar restoration items and other stored items in the Elko Station basement moved to this storage.
  • The decorative cornice for the Royal Alexandra Hall was finally installed after being stored in the upper level of the Freight Shed for 3 years awaiting funds to do the work
  • more planters and trees, bushes and signs were installed along the site
  • 43 donated concrete parking curbs aligned along parking lot to visually organize parking and improve traffic flow
  • Major work was done on the upper Freight Shed Galleries and Office were architecturally framed and drywalled to give a good impression of what they will look like when funds permit their completion.
  • the adjacent Galleries Café, with two large etched glass windows installed as room dividers (these 7' x 8' historic 110 year old pieces has been stored by the Museum for 16 years.
  • the mid-exits for the two level of the Freight Shed were also completed
  • a costume storage room was completed for the permanent storage of the Museum volunteers gowns and the Masquerade capes


  • JCP contract work continued to mid- May
  • The 2010 Cranbrook Cultural Plan completed by the City, and places Galleries as a top priority for the community, and notes the relative ease in completing and operating the partially-finished Galleries at the Museum as an option. The next highest priority was the completion of the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel.
  • Four large 12' wide x 7; high Historic Railway Maps and Trains Poster installed in Entrance Hall for context for this historic trains on tour and for Cranbrook’s strategic location in the overall world and North American CPR systems .
  • CBT provides funds to complete the Cranbrook History Gallery, and preliminary research begins
  • preliminary planning begins on the new Cranbrook History program for schools and the revision of the regular trains tours for school visits to produce two new school programs.
  • City paved the extensive parking lot at a cost of $75,000
  • The  Rotary Club decides it will cosmetically restore the exterior of the two historic ALCO Diesel locomotives at the former Museum site beside the Elko Station. These units has been placed here in 2002 at no cost during the relocation of the railcar to the new site. However, the agreement was that the Museum would not be responsible for their restoration, but rather a community group. A crane light of these heavy objects would have been in the range of $20,000 to move them onto the tracks on this site.
  • The Executive Director decides to retire from the CEO position in 2014, working with the Succession Committee of the Board to make a smooth transition, since he has held the position from the beginning.
  • the '500-Year Museum Plan' begun with 7 consultants and costing $115,000, to provide a guide to the future development and survival of the Museum, and specifications and prices for the construction and (low cost) operation of a  new Trains Display Building 
  • original furniture and other furnishings for the missing pieces in the 1906 Palace Sleeping-Car Omemee is found at the small Colfax Railway Museum in Wisconsin, taken out (probably in the 1930's) from a sister car Venlo and stored first in a barn attic on a farm and then at the Museum.               


  • the Cranbrook History Gallery is dedicated 17 June - including the completion of the 42 framed (permanent) photo collages with over 180 historic images about the city, and update and expand the Cranbrook Heritage Tour map in digital format for large printing for display in the Gallery, with an increase in the listings from 42 to 96. This is the first stage of a 'Museum About Cranbrook' in the lower and upper level of the historic Freight Shed. The upper floor exhibition galleries will be for an rotating series of local historical exhibits developed from material in the Archives, which should greatly increase local repeat attendance, as a separate experience from the more tourist-oriented trains displays
  • original furniture and other furnishings for Omemee arrives at the Museum and is  stored in the car awaiting a Job Creation program for a small crew to install the pieces - some attached to the frame of the car. These include about 18  tufted mohair upholstered seat bottoms, backs and headrests, the tufted leather sofa and seats and nickeleen double sink from the men's smoking rooms, inlaid curved doors with leaded glass and assorted hardware
  • National Historic Status confirmed for the 1929 Trans-Canada Limited on 17 June - from the  National Historic Sites and Monuments of Canada
  • Canada Day Citizenship Ceremony in the Royal Alexandra Hall confirmed as an annual event
  • research and production begins on 5 Interpretive Train Set detailed panels for the Gift Shop / Restoration Interpretive Area
  • a start is made on the production of the Restoration A/V to compliment the Orientation A/V in the Interpretive Area

Back to Museum Development